Issue #340, 31st May 2019

This Week's Favorite


Becoming a Bad-Ass Engineering Leader: 5 Tried and True Lessons From a Woman of Color.
7 minutes read.

Rukmini Reddy with an inspiring post I think you should all read. While I was hoping that our industry is better than this (it isn't), I'm optimistic that people like Rukmini can help us push further, and create a more inclusive environment for everyone. Know who you are, take feedback that would help you grow and ignore the trolls: "But if you absorb that negativity, you will lose your power, your motivation, and your spark. I’ve thrived by identifying the critics who don’t matter and managing the impact they — and their opinions — have on me and my decisions."

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Culture


Expectations From Companies When You Say You're a Full-Stack Developer
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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Four Magic Numbers for Measuring Software Delivery
8 minutes read.

David Lush covers how ONZO measures execution improvement over time, trying to look for proxies to indicate they're moving in the right direction. This is a difficult task for any organization, and we can argue where to start the measurement (product spec in high quality?) and where to end it (measure usage of the delivered feature or capability?). The framework offered in Accelerate is useful but even better is to discuss with all relevant groups to hear people out. What you should optimize for is not only business proxies, but also proxies for how people feel.

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Friday Wins and a Case Study in Ritual Design
4 minutes read.

"Culture is what you celebrate. Rituals are the tools you use to shape culture. Yet very few of us think much about ritual design." -- Kellan Elliott-McCrea with the thinking behind their Friday Wins ritual. This is how you should approach it when adding potential overhead (process) to your team.

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Just Keep Building Icebergs. Those Who Never Did and Never Could Never Will. (Steve Jobs Video)
2 minutes read.

Steve Jobs with a short and powerful message. Very few are willing to have skin in the game. Those who do are willing to take risk and put themselves out there.

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Peopleware


What Great Managers Do: Prune
4 minutes read.

Claire Lew writes about her takeaways from David Cancel, and it reminded me a lot of the book "Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests". Here is how Claire writes it: "First of all, pruning is a small, seemingly minor activity. You’re not making big, sweeping moves of planting new shrubs or replanting a whole tree. This is also true of good leadership. [...] Pruning is also done periodically, only when the season is fitting. If you prune all the time and you can accidentally over prune a plant and deprive it of nutrients. Leadership is similar."

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How to Size and Assess Teams From an Eng Lead at Stripe, Uber and Digg
12 minutes read.

"It’s easy to do the right thing for people you like. It’s easy to do the right thing when it’s cheap. It really only matters when it’s difficult." -- If you've been following my emails you could have probably spotted Will Laron's posts multiple times. I think Will is a great communicator and thinker, and this interview with him about his book (highly recommended! I bought 3 copies for my team) can open up your mind to a few interesting managerial frameworks. My personal favorites subjects: "Keep innovation and maintenance together", "Meaningful investment in each report," and "Work morale and user happiness won’t move in tandem."

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The Style of a Leader
3 minutes read.

"It took me a long while to realize that yes, there is an alternative way of leading: through vulnerability. While there’s no doubt that authoritarianism can work, more often than not your team will end up hating their jobs, and quite frankly so will you!" -- If you're a manager (or aspiring manager), reading Alex Maccaw's thoughts will make you pause and think about your leadership style. Are you leading as if you're in "War Time" even though that's not the case? Is your style contributes to a sustainable path to success?

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Inspiring Tweets


@paulocoelho: For Better or Worse What You Allow Will Continue

@spakhm: My Parents Are Wonderful People. But Most of the Things They Taught Me Are Essential in a Low-Trust/Scarcity Culture, and Counterproductive in a High-Trust/Abundance Culture. I Had to Do a Lot of Work to Unwind These Lessons, and It Set Me Back by Probably ~10-15 Years.

- Oren

P.S. Can you share this email? I'd love for more people to experiment and improve their company's culture.

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